Something wasn't right. The heat perhaps, I felt sick. I struggled to get out of the cab, thankful i didn't try to drive myself home from the golf course.
Grace wasn't home, her car was gone, but i called out to her anyway. Finding nothing but the silence of a house, i decided just to lay down.
I should call someone, no- oh my god, i've turned into my hypochon mother. Just prop up the pillows like this and rest. The sweet relief, it stopped burning and now was almost tingling.
It was overwhelmingly warm, despite the central air. Deep breaths, belching loudly-ooh having trouble breathing, gasping, sweating, nervousness, crushing pain in my chest.
Am i passing out? I wondered as my vision became an ever- shrinking tunnel.
And then, it stopped and I felt better. Holy shit, Grace is gonna be worried. I'll mention it next time.
I rose up from the bed and wandered out to the kitchen, encountering Grace's white miniature poodle's low throaty growl.
I ignored him and saw there on the fridge a post it from her "pull out the steaks for tonight". I reached for the note. My hands did not make contact.
I reached for the handle of the fridge, it too escaped my grip. Death perception, i mumbled, what?! no depth perception, is what i meant. Go lay down.
Entering the bedroom I was disturbed by something I did not expect. It was me, but not my reflection unfortunately.
It was me, where i'd lain propped up on top of the duvet, eyes open, lips looking dry and pale, hair slightly damp, plastered to the side of my face.
I screamed, as I assure you there is nothing worse than seeing you that isn't quite you. I looked in the mirror, i wasn't there. No reflection because maybe i was the reflection.
I walked back to my body, laying there looking like wax, christ it was sickening. I laid back down on myself trying in vain to get back in.
I stood by my bedside and jumped, I ran and dove, I sat on myself. If you find yourself in this position, please know, there's no goin' back.
So there i was, calling for help, ironically a little too late.
Hearing Grace's subaru pull into the driveway, I began to get scared. I retreated behind the bedroom door. I expected her to call out for me.
she didn't- my car wasn't in the drive, as i'd left it at the club.
The poodle trying in his own way to softly relay the news, she made kissy sounds at him and fluffled his 'fro and scurried past him.
She opened the fridge, noticing the steaks still hadn't been done. "Damnit Jack!" i heard her say, as she pulled them out and laid them on the counter.
I watched her, putting away the groceries. She was so lovely and i wished I'd told her more often than i did. She pulled out her phone and called me. My ringtone sounded from the bedroom.
She followed the sound. please god, please don't let her scream.
"Seriously Jackson," as if she'd expected that I'd left my phone on the dresser. She walked in, she called my name. Thirty eight years of love compressed into one syllable of anguish: jack?!!?
After that, I floated away. Not floated, imagine a fan engages and the smoke gets sucked away, dissapates. It was like that, i just went away. I wasn't there to see what happened in the after.
I don't know if anyone spoke at my funeral or even if Grace put me in that blue suit that she loved or buried me in jeans and a sweater. i don't know, and i won't know.
I was standing in the next. Someone was there, ushering me along moving quickly, their smile was very bright so much that it was blinding, and i was never able to quite make out the face.
He said," You are here in the next." "The next?" I asked, " What does that mean? It is like Heaven?"
The brightness snickered, and answered flatly, " No."